Trump and McCarthy spoke by phone after audio of House GOP leader released: report
Former President Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reportedly spoke on the phone Thursday night after audio was released of McCarthy saying he considered telling Trump to resign following the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.
The Washington Post reported Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter, that Trump was not upset about McCarthy’s remarks and was glad that he didn’t push him to resign like he said he would.
The pair reportedly spoke after MSNBC aired audio of McCarthy’s taped remarks during “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Thursday night after obtaining audio from two The New York Times reporters.
“The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign,” McCarthy, who is aiming to be Speaker if Republicans take control of the House, was heard saying to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on a call while discussing Trump.
The New York Times first reported Thursday morning that McCarthy and other top Republicans privately bashed Trump and wanted him to resign in the wake of his second impeachment proceedings.
McCarthy had immediately denied the report. But on Thursday night, audio of the conversation between McCarthy and Cheney was shared by the Times’s Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin.
More audio clips surfaced Friday of McCarthy saying about Trump, “I’ve had it with this guy.”
Trump has yet to release a statement about the audio. The Times also reported that House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on a call that the GOP should think about a “post-Trump Republican House,” though his spokeswoman denied the report.
The Post, citing sources, reported that the audio apparently reaffirmed to Trump that he still has a grip on the Republican Party since McCarthy didn’t follow through on pushing the then-president to resign.
As midterms quickly approach, some Republicans who criticized Trump in the wake of Jan. 6 feel isolated from the rest of the party — four of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment are not running for reelection.
While McCarthy initially came out in the days following Jan. 6 saying Trump should bear some “responsibility” for the attack, he did not publicly support his impeachment. McCarthy has since visited the former president at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
The Hill reached out to spokespeople for Trump and McCarthy for comment.
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